A Napolitano

University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (38)103.42 Total impact

  • A Napolitano, P Manini, M d'Ischia
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant oxidative pathways of catecholamine neurotransmitters, i.e. dopamine and norepinephrine, are an important biochemical correlate of catecholaminergic neuron loss in some disabling neurodegenerative diseases of the elderly, notably Parkinson's disease. In an oxidative stress setting, under conditions of elevated lipid peroxidation, iron accumulation, impaired mitochondrial functioning and antioxidant depletion, catecholamines are oxidatively converted to the corresponding o-quinones, which may initiate a cascade of spontaneous reactions, including intramolecular cyclization, aminoethyl side chain fission and interaction with molecular targets. The overall outcome of the competing pathways may vary depending on contingent factors and the biochemical environment, and may include formation of nitrated derivatives, neuromelanin deposition, generation of chain fission products, conjugation with L-cysteine leading eventually to cytotoxic responses and altered cellular function. In addition, catecholamines may interact with products of lipid peroxidation and other species derived from oxidative breakdown of biomolecules, notably glyoxal and other aldehydes, leading e.g. to tetrahydroisoquinolines via Pictet-Spengler chemistry. After a brief introductory remark on oxidative stress biochemistry, the bulk of this review will deal with an overview of the basic chemical pathways of catecholamine oxidation, with special emphasis on the analogies and differences between the central neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. This chemistry will form the basis for a concise discussion of the latest advances in the mechanisms of catecholamine-associated neurotoxicity in neuronal degeneration.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 04/2011; 18(12):1832-45. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 100 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    ChemInform 12/2010; 26(52).
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 100 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    ChemInform 01/2010; 27(51).
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    ABSTRACT: Ultrafast time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy has been used to investigate the excited-state dynamics of the basic eumelanin building block 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA), its acetylated, methylated, and carboxylic ester derivatives, and two oligomers, a dimer and a trimer in the O-acetylated forms. The results show that (1) excited-state decays are faster for the trimer relative to the monomer; (2) for parent DHICA, excited-state lifetimes are much shorter in aqueous acidic medium (380 ps) as compared to organic solvent (acetonitrile, 2.6 ns); and (3) variation of fluorescence spectra and excited-state dynamics can be understood as a result of excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT). The dependence on the DHICA oligomer size of the excited-state deactivation and its ESIPT mechanism provides important insight into the photostability and the photoprotective function of eumelanin. Mechanistic analogies with the corresponding processes in DNA and other biomolecules are recognized.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 12/2008; 130(50):17038-43. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanosis of the urinary bladder is a very rare condition characterized by an abnormal black or brownish-black pigmentation of the organ. The pigmentary disorder can involve both the urothelial cell layers and/or the submucosa. The biologic potential of the melanosis of urinary bladder remains unknown because only a few cases have been reported in medical literature. So far melanosis of the urinary bladder is not known to occur in cattle. Here we describe the first case of melanosis of the urinary bladder in an inbred red-spotted, 7-year-old cow. Light, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemic investigations demonstrated melanin pigment in the submucosa and lamina propria but not the urothelium of the bladder. In addition, biochemical characterization of the pigment-laden cells demonstrated that the pigment of this disorder consisted mainly of eumelanin, thus corroborating the morphologic studies. Finally, virologic examination revealed the presence of bovine papillomavirus type 2.
    Veterinary Pathology 02/2008; 45(1):46-50. · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A pulse radiolytic investigation has been conducted to establish whether a redox reaction takes place between dopaquinone and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) and its 2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) and to measure the rate constants of the interactions. To obviate possible confounding reactions, such as nucleophilic addition, the method employed to generate dopaquinone used the dibromide radical anion acting on dopa to form the semiquinone which rapidly disproportionates to dopaquinone. In the presence of DHI the corresponding indole-5,6-quinone (and/or tautomers) was also formed directly but, by judicious selection of suitable relative concentrations of initial reactants, we were able to detect the formation of additional indolequinone from the redox exchange reaction of DHI with dopaquinone which exhibited a linear dependency on the concentration of DHI. Computer simulation of the experimental time profiles of the absorption changes showed that, under the conditions chosen, redox exchange does proceed but not quite to completion, a forward rate constant of 1.4 x 10(6)/M/s being obtained. This is in the same range as the rate constants previously established for reactions of dopaquinone with cyclodopa and cysteinyldopa. In similar experiments carried out with DHICA, the reaction more obviously does not go to completion and is much slower, k (forward) =1.6 x 10(5)/M/s. We conclude that, in the eumelanogenic pathway, DHI oxidation may take place by redox exchange with dopaquinone, although such a reaction is likely to be less efficient for DHICA.
    Pigment Cell Research 11/2006; 19(5):443-50. · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oxidation of (5Z,8Z,11Z,13E,15S)-15-hydroxy-5,8,11,13-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-(S)-HETE, 1a) with the Fenton reagent (Fe2+/EDTA/H2O2) was investigated. In phosphate buffer, pH 7.4, the reaction proceeded with 75% substrate consumption after 1 h to give a mixture of products, one of which was identified as (2E,4S)-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (3a, 18% yield). Methylation of the mixture with diazomethane allowed isolation of another main product which could be identified as methyl (5Z,8Z,13E)-11,12-trans-epoxy-15-hydroxy-5,8,13-eicosatrienoate (2a methyl ester, 8% yield). A similar oxidation carried out on (15-(2)H)-15-HETE (1b) indicated complete retention of the label in 2b methyl ester and 3b, consistent with an oxidation pathway involving as the primary event H-atom abstraction at C-10. Overall, these results support the recently proposed role of 1a as a potential precursor of the cytotoxic gamma-hydroxyalkenal 3a and disclose a hitherto unrecognized interconnection between 1a and the epoxy-alcohol 2a, previously implicated only in the metabolic transformations of the 15-hydroperoxy derivative of arachidonic acid.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 08/2006; 142(1-2):14-22. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • M d'Ischia, L Panzella, P Manini, A Napolitano
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    ABSTRACT: A regular intake of polyphenolic agents widely found in fruits and vegetables is believed to decrease the incidence of certain forms of cancer, due in part to their ability to act as antinitrosating agents capable of lowering the impact of toxic nitrosation processes and carcinogenic nitrosamine formation within the acidic environment of the stomach. As a result, the study of the interactions between reactive nitrogen species and phenolic antioxidants has emerged as an area of great promise for delineating innovative strategies in cancer chemoprevention. The burst of interest in (poly)phenolic cancer chemopreventive agents of dietary origin is exemplified by the exponential growth of scientific literature on green tea catechins, as well as on hydroxycinnamates, hydroxytyrosol, flavonoids and other phenolic compounds of the Mediterranean diet, currently regarded as a cultural model for dietary improvement. However, as is often the case with rapidly growing fields, most of these advances have not yet been assessed nor properly integrated into a well defined conceptual framework, whereby several aspects of the chemistry underlying their mechanism of action have remained either obscure or have been taken for granted without sufficient experimental support. The objective of this paper is to provide an account of the chemical mechanisms through which polyphenolic compounds of dietary origin may react with nitrite-derived nitrosating species under conditions that model those occurring in the stomach and other acidic biological compartments. The relevance of this chemistry to the actual role of these substances in DNA protection and cancer prevention remains a critical goal for future studies.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 02/2006; 13(26):3133-44. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reaction of 3-nitrotyrosine with HOCl in aqueous phosphate buffer (pH7.4) leads to a mixture of extractable products, including 3,5-di(4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)pyridine (15% isolated yield) and 3,5-di(4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenylmethyl)pyridine (3%) arising by a Chichibabin-like pyridine synthesis via N-chloroimine intermediates. Under the same conditions, phenylalanine gives 3,5-diphenylpyridine in 9% isolated yield, while tyrosine leads to 3,5-di(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyridine (3%) and 3-(3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenyl)-5-(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyridine (3%).
    Tetrahedron Letters 09/2005; 46(38):6457-6460. · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reaction of (13S,9Z,11E)-13-hydroxy-9,11-octadecadienoic acid (1a), one of the major peroxidation products of linoleic acid and an important physiological mediator, with the Fenton reagent (Fe(2+)/EDTA/H(2)O(2)) was investigated. In phosphate buffer, pH 7.4, the reaction proceeded with >80% substrate consumption after 4h to give a defined pattern of products, the major of which were isolated as methyl esters and were subjected to complete spectral characterization. The less polar product was identified as (9Z,11E)-13-oxo-9,11-octadecadienoate (2) methyl ester (40% yield). Based on 2D NMR analysis the other two major products were formulated as (11E)-9,10-epoxy-13-hydroxy-11-octadecenoate (3) methyl ester (15% yield) and (10E)-9-hydroxy-13-oxo-10-octadecenoate (4) methyl ester (10% yield). Mechanistic experiments, including deuterium labeling, were consistent with a free radical oxidation pathway involving as the primary event H-atom abstraction at C-13, as inferred from loss of the original S configuration in the reaction products. Overall, these results provide the first insight into the products formed by oxidation of 1a with the Fenton reagent, and hint at novel formation pathways of the hydroxyepoxide 3 and hydroxyketone 4 of potential (patho)physiological relevance in settings of oxidative stress.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 04/2005; 134(2):161-71. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Different types of melanin pigments have recently been identified and recognized as critical determinants of the photosensitivity of individuals. Eumelanin, the black to brown melanin pigments, are believed to protect against ultraviolet-induced cell damage, while phaeomelanin, the reddish brown variant, is thought to be photosensitizing. The relative, qualitative and absolute amount of melanin production under stimulation of solar radiation is likely to be genetically determined. The hypothesis of this study is that determination of these values can help in identifying those people who are less protected. However, these techniques must be evaluated at a population level and against traditional epidemiological measures. We assessed the amount and type of melanin in 195 subjects in four centres across Europe, relating the results to epidemiological measures such as skin characteristics, history of sunburns and number of naevi. The most important finding was that eumelanin and phaeomelanin have very different distributions in the population, being associated with other phenotype characteristics with different patterns. The relationship between phaeomelanin and eumelanin is linearly inverse in the range from black to dark blonde hair colour, while it is weakly directly proportional in the range from dark blonde to light blonde, with people with red hair showing a peculiar pattern. Phaeomelanin rather than eumelanin seemed to be independent of other skin characteristics. The results show the feasibility of a further study with an appropriate case-control design and accurate determination of melanin.
    Melanoma Research 01/2002; 11(6):551-7. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Alessandra Napolitano, Paola Di Donato, Giuseppe Prota
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    ABSTRACT: Trichochromes, the peculiar pigments of red human hair, featuring the Delta(2,2)(')-bi(2H-1,4-benzothiazine) skeleton, are known to arise from cysteinyldopas, mainly the 5-S-isomer (5). However, the mode of formation and the direct precursors have remained largely undefined. To fill this gap, we investigated the oxidation of 5 in air or with chemical and enzymatic agents under biomimetic conditions. In the presence of zinc ions, which occur in epidermal tissues at significant concentrations, the reaction course is diverted toward the formation of a labile 3-carboxy-2H-1,4-benzothiazine intermediate (11), which was identified by direct NMR analysis. Structural formulation was supported by characterization of the analogous compound 13 isolated from oxidation of the model 5-methyl-3-S-cysteinylcatechol (12) after methylation. In the further stages of the oxidation, diastereomeric 2,2'-bi(2H-1,4-benzothiazine) 15 and 14 were obtained from 5 and 12, respectively, the reaction proceeding at a higher rate and to a greater extent in the presence of acids. The dimers were shown to readily convert to each other in the presence of acids. In the case of the methylated dimers 14, a 2,2'-bi(4H-1,4-benzothiazine) intermediate (16) was isolated and characterized. In acidic media, trichochrome C (1a), the most abundant in red human hair, was smoothly formed from aerial oxidation of 15, and under similar conditions, trichochrome-related products (17 and 18) were obtained from 14 prior to or after methylation. The presence of 1a and precursors 5 and 15 was investigated by HPLC analysis of red hair samples following mild proteolytic digestion. On the basis of these data, a likely biosynthetic route to trichochrome pigments of red human hair is depicted.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 11/2001; 66(21):6958-66. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidation of 6-nitrodopamine (1) and 6-nitronorepinephrine (2), as well as of the model compounds 4-nitrocatechol and 4-methyl-5-nitrocatechol, with horseradish peroxidase (HRP)/H(2)O(2), lactoperoxidase (LPO)/H(2)O(2), Fe(2+)/H(2)O(2), Fe(2+)-EDTA/H(2)O(2) (Fenton reagent), HRP or Fe(2+)/EDTA in combination with D-glucose-glucose oxidase, or Fe(2+)/O(2), resulted in the smooth formation of yellowish-brown pigments positive to the Griess assay. In the case of 1, formation of the Griess positive pigment (GPP-1) promoted by HRP/H(2)O(2) proceeded through the intermediacy of two main dimeric species that could be isolated and identified as 3 and the isomer 4, featuring the 4-nitro-6,7-dihydroxyindole system linked to a unit of 1 through ether bonds. Spectroscopic (FAB-MS, (1)H NMR) and chemical analysis of GPP-1 indicated a mixture of oligomeric species related to 3 and 4 in which oxidative modification of the nitrocatechol moiety of 1 led to the generation of reactive nitro groups supposedly linked to sp(3) hybridized carbons. In the pH range 3-6, GPP-1 induced concentration- and pH-dependent nitrosation of 2,3-diaminonaphthalene, but very poor (up to 2%) nitration of 600 microM tyrosine. At pH 7.4, 1 exerted significant toxicity to PC12 cells, while GPP-1 proved virtually innocuous. By contrast, when assayed on Lactobacillus bulgaricus cells at pH 3.5, 1 was inactive whereas GGP-1 caused about 70% inhibition of cell growth. Overall, these results hint at novel pH-dependent mechanisms of nitrocatecholamine-induced cytotoxicity of possible relevance to ischemia- or inflammation-induced catecholaminergic neuron damage.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 10/2001; 14(9):1296-305. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that a melanoma antigen, recognized by tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, was encoded by intron sequences retained in a partially spliced transcript of the tyrosinase-related protein-2/DOPAchrome tautomerase gene. At difference with the mRNA encoding tyrosinase-related protein-2, this anomalous transcript was not expressed in melanocytes. This study examined whether neoplastic and/or normal cells of the melanocytic lineage could express additional forms of tyrosinase-related protein-2 mRNA. Screening of a melanoma-derived cDNA library with a tyrosinase-related protein-2 probe allowed identification of two novel isoforms. The first, tyrosinase-related protein-2-long tail, corresponds to the dominant transcript detected on melanomas and melanocytes by northern blot analysis. Tyrosinase-related protein-2-long tail is identical to the tyrosinase-related protein-2-encoding published cDNA sequence except for an extended 3'-untranslated region and is originated by alternative polyadenylation. This novel 3'-untranslated region contains an alternatively spliced, tyrosinase-related protein-2 last exon in the second isoform (tyrosinase-related protein-2-8b). The protein encoded by tyrosinase-related protein-2-8b is identical to tyrosinase-related protein-2 in its first 460 amino acids but possesses a different carboxyl-terminus devoid of transmembrane domain. Tyrosinase-related protein-2-long tail exhibited DOPA-chrome tautomerase activity, when transiently transfected into COS-7 cells. On the contrary, no detectable activity was exhibited by tyrosinase-related protein-2-8b. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis indicated that tyrosinase-related protein-2-long tail and tyrosinase-related protein-2-8b are expressed by tyrosinase-related protein-2-positive melanomas and normal melanocytes. Moreover all cell lines positive for tyrosinase-related protein-2 isoforms expressed tyrosinase and, all but one, tyrosinase-related protein-1. These data show that the human tyrosinase-related protein-2/DOPAchrome tautomerase gene can yield different isoforms by alternative poly(A) site usage or by alternative splicing. The pattern of expression of these isoforms suggest that they might play a part in the normal pathway of melanin biosynthesis.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 08/2000; 115(1):48-56. · 6.19 Impact Factor
  • A Palumbo, A Napolitano, P Barone, M d'Ischia
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    ABSTRACT: In the presence of nitrite ions (NO(2)(-)) in phosphate buffer (pH 7. 4) and at 37 degrees C, dopamine was oxidized by a variety of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-dependent enzymatic and chemical systems to give, in addition to black melanin-like pigments via 5, 6-dihydroxyindoles, small amounts of the potent neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (1) and of 6-nitrodopamine (2), a putative reaction product of dopamine with NO-derived species. Treatment of 0. 5 or 1 mM dopamine with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or lactoperoxidase (LPO) in the presence of 1 or 2 mM H(2)O(2) with NO(2)(-) at a concentration of 0.5-10 mM resulted in the formation of 1 and 2 in up to 8 and 2 microM yields, respectively, depending on the substrate concentration and the NO(2)(-):H(2)O(2) ratio. Nitration and hydroxylation of 0.1 mM dopamine was observed with 1 mM NO(2)(-) using HRP and the D-glucose/glucose oxidase system to generate H(2)O(2) in situ. In the presence of NO(2)(-)-, Fe(2+)-, or Fe(2+)/EDTA-promoted oxidations of dopamine with H(2)O(2) also led to the formation of 1 and 2, the apparent product ratios varying with peroxide concentration and the partitioning of the metal between EDTA and catecholamine chelates. In the presence of NO(2)(-), Fe(2+)-promoted autoxidation of dopamine gave 2 but no detectable 1. When injected into the brains of laboratory rats, 2 caused sporadic behavioral changes, indicating that it could elicit a neurotoxic response, albeit to a lower extent than 1. Model experiments using tyrosinase as an oxidizing system and mechanistic considerations suggested that formation of 2 does not involve reactive nitrogen radicals but results mainly from nucleophilic attack of NO(2)(-) to dopamine quinone. Generation of 1, on the other hand, may be derives from different H(2)O(2)-dependent pathways. Collectively, these results outline a complex interplay of NO(2)(-)- and peroxide-dependent oxidation pathways of dopamine, which may contribute to impair dopaminergic neurotransmission and induce cytotoxic processes in neurodegenerative disorders.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 01/2000; 12(12):1213-22. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • A Napolitano, A Pezzella, G Prota
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    ABSTRACT: Aerial oxidation of dopamine at concentrations as low as 50 microM in the presence of ferrous ions in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) led in the early stages (6-8 h) to the formation of the quinone of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine, 2, followed (24 h) by a complex product pattern comprising main components norepinephrine (5), 3, 4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (4), and the neurotoxic alkaloid 6, 7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (3). Product formation required the assistance of metal ions such as Mn(II), Zn(II), and iron, in either the ferrous or ferric form. Product yields were shown to vary linearly with iron and dopamine concentration in the early phases of the reaction (2 h). Biologically relevant antioxidants, like glutathione and ascorbate, and metal chelators, e. g., 2,2'-bipyridyl, inhibited dopamine conversion to products 2-5, but not substrate consumption, while hydroxyl radical scavengers such as DMSO and mannitol did not alter the course of the reaction. On the contrary, mannitol increased product yields, an effect seen for other monosaccharides. Catalase exhibited a significant inhibitory effect particularly on the formation of 3 and 4. By using (18)O(2), evidence was obtained for incorporation of the label into the carbonyl oxygen of 4, but not into the hydroxyl group of 5. On the basis of these and other results, a complete mechanistic picture of the oxidation is drawn involving conversion of dopamine to the corresponding o-quinone and its quinonemethide tautomer with concomitant reduction of O(2) to H(2)O(2). Nucleophilic attack by H(2)O to the quinonemethide gives rise to 5, while H(2)O(2) addition leads to benzaldehyde 4 via a beta-aminohydroperoxide intermediate. This latter reaction path also gives formaldehyde which yields the isoquinoline 3 by Pictet-Spengler condensation with dopamine. The quinone 2 results from H(2)O(2) attack at the 6-position of dopamine o-quinone in agreement with previous studies. These results provide an insight into new routes of nonenzymatic conversion of dopamine to its metabolite norepinephrine and neurotoxic species which may become operative under conditions relevant to neurodegeneration.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 12/1999; 12(11):1090-7. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • L Novellino, A Napolitano, G Prota
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence supports the view that diffusible melanin-related metabolites do not serve merely as pigment precursors, but may also act as modulators of the responses of the pigmentary cell melanocyte to external stimuli, especially to inflammation. In this study, the effect of melanin precursors 5, 6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) on the Fenton-induced oxidation of deoxyribose was investigated as a model of the oxidative stress processes triggered by the release of iron during inflammation. DHICA caused a powerful inhibition of the H(2)O(2)-Fe(II)/EDTA oxidation under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, proving to be more efficient than typical hydroxyl radical (HO(*)) scavengers even at low concentrations with respect to deoxyribose. Conversely, DHI in air was a prooxidant at low indole:Fe(II) ratios, but shifted to an antioxidant at higher ratios (>6). The magnitude of the prooxidant effect increased by lowering the pH of the medium or by replacing Fe(II) with Fe(III), but was suppressed by exclusion of oxygen. Both the indoles retained their effects on the Fenton reaction in the absence of EDTA, as a result of their ability to chelate iron ions as evidenced by spectrophotometric experiments. Investigation of the reaction of DHI and DHICA with the Fenton reagent led to the conclusion that the indoles interact efficiently with HO(*), yielding indolesemiquinone species which are then converted to melanin pigments by self-coupling or disproportionation. At low DHI:iron molar ratios, the ability of semiquinones, generated by autoxidation of indoles, to recycle Fe(II) ions prevails, accounting for the observed prooxidant effect. Collectively, the results of this study provide new evidence for melanogenic 5,6-dihydroxyindoles as a novel class of biological antioxidants and point to these compounds as the key to interpreting the response of melanocytes to oxidative injuries. Moreover, the rapid formation of melanin following the exposure of 5, 6-dihydroxyindoles to the Fenton oxidation suggests new mechanisms of skin hyperpigmentation associated with inflammation.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 11/1999; 12(10):985-92. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is now generally agreed that solar exposure is a major external factor in the causation of cutaneous melanoma in light skinned populations with red hair and a marked susceptibility to the acute effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the present study, we investigated the existence of a possible relationship between hair melanin composition and minimal erythema dose (MED), as an indicator of UV sensitivity, in a group of 15 healthy red-haired subjects aged 20-46 years. In spite of comparable skin and hair colour, marked variations were observed in the MED values as well as in the hair melanin composition. Phaeomelanin levels varied in the range 0.026-0.53% w/w and were generally comparable to or higher than eumelanin levels (0.042-0.17% w/w). No significant relationship was found between MED values and phaeomelanin, eumelanin or total melanin (eumelanin plus phaeomelanin) content. Notably, however, a gross positive correlation was found between the eumelanin/phaeomelanin ratio and the MED values. These results would suggest that a high UV sensitivity is associated with high phaeomelanin and low eumelanin levels, and point to the eumelanin/phaeomelanin ratio as a novel chemical parameter that could be used for predicting individuals at high risk for skin cancer and melanoma.
    Melanoma Research 02/1998; 8(1):53-8. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of selective incorporation of thiourea into melanotic melanoma was investigated by model experiments in which the effect of the compound was examined at various stages of melanogenesis in vitro. Up to 50% inhibition of dopachrome formation was observed in the tyrosinase-dopa reaction in the presence of thiourea at a 2:1 molar ratio with respect to the substrate. Under these conditions, a major product was formed which was isolated and identified as a 1:1 dopa-thiourea adduct (adduct I). Subsequent stages of the oxidation were characterized by the development of a yellow chromophore (lambdamax 440-460nm), virtually identical to that obtained by separate oxidation of the adduct I. A less remarkable effect of thiourea was observed on the oxidative polymerization of 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) which was apparent on spectrophotometric and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Radiolabelling experiments with 14C-thiourea showed that the label was initially incorporated into the adduct I, while in the subsequent stages of the oxidation it was associated with pigmented materials which escaped direct analysis. Incorporation of labelled thiourea into dopa-melanins was found to be significantly higher than incorporation into synthetic pigments from indole precursors. These results provide a chemical basis for the interpretation of the selective accumulation of thiourea in those melanoma areas with high rates of melanin synthesis seen in autoradiographic experiments.
    Melanoma Research 01/1998; 7(6):478-85. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interest in 5-S-cysteinyldopa (5-S-CD), a major excretion product of normal and malignant melanocytes, has traditionally concentrated on its significance as a biosynthetic precursor of pheomelanins, the characteristic pigments of red hair, and as a specific biochemical marker for monitoring melanoma progression. The present study shows that 5-S-CD is a potent inhibitor of hydroxylation/oxidation reactions mediated by hydrogen peroxide and the Fe2+/EDTA complex under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The inhibitory effect of 5-S-CD, as determined by the deoxyribose and salicylic acid assays in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4), is much stronger than that of dopa, acetylsalicylic acid and mannitol, increases with increasing ligand-to-metal ratio, and is inversely proportional to the concentration of EDTA present in the Fenton system. Spectrophotometric evidence and competition experiments indicate that 5-S-CD forms a chelate complex with ferric ions (lambda max = 500 nm at pH 7.4), which may account for both an altered production of hydroxyl radicals by the Fenton reagent and a site-specific localization of oxidative damage on the chelate complex itself.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/1996; 1291(1):75-82. · 4.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

416 Citations
103.42 Total Impact Points


  • 1995–2011
    • University of Naples Federico II
      • Department of Pharmacy
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1998–2001
    • Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn di Napoli
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1987–1993
    • Second University of Naples
      Caserta, Campania, Italy
    • Naples Eastern University
      Napoli, Campania, Italy